Wozniacki beats Mladenovic in HK
FORMER world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki beat unseeded French challenger Kristina Mladenovic to take the Hong Kong Open yesterday after a battle of wills that lasted almost three hours. Wozniacki seeded fifth in the competition, stormed the first set 6-1 with Mladenovic visibly despondent and limping slightly.
The 23-year-old Frenchwoman emerged in the second set with her right leg bandaged and with a renewed focus, forcing Wozniacki to dive around the court with a combination of drop shots and powerful drives.
The set went to 6-6, with Mladenovic sealing the tie-break 7-4 to go even. Dressed all in green, a determined Wozniacki, 26, finally sealed victory in the third set. A tired Mladenovic was ultimately unable to match the Dane’s power and consistency.
Frequently bending to lean on her racquet between points, the Frenchwoman was in tears as she desperately tried to fight back after Wozniacki took a 5-0 lead. Wozniacki eventually took the final set 6-2.
“I’m really pleased with my week this week -- there was some good tennis and long battles,” Wozniacki told reporters.
“It wasn’t easy mentally because sometimes she would look like she couldn’t play, and then she would run like Speedy Gonzalez -- clearly it’s not that bad if you can run side to side. There was definitely a mental game. I just happened to win it,” she said. – AFP
Caroline Wozniacki hits a return against France’s Kristina Mladenovic during their women’s final match at the Hong Kong Open yesterday. –